2019 Rural Development Report: Creating opportunities for rural youth
This report (PDF) by IFAD attempts to inform policies, programmes, and investments to promote a rural transformation that is inclusive of rural youth. Rural youth development is powered by improvements in three mutually-reinforcing factors: 1) Productivity of rural young people is needs to be ensured by social structures and attitutes to help rural youth progress, especially for young rural women. 2) Connectivity – to people, markets, services, ideas and information – to create opportunities for rural youth to become more fully integrated with their transforming economies. 3) Agency: to become more productive and connected, youth must have the power to make decisions in their own best interest. Understanding the national, local and family settings in which young people live entails understanding the concept of rural transformation. There are a number of issues that can hinder the transition from dependence to independence. First, youth need certain capacities, skills, financial resources and key assets. Further, social norms and local circumstances also determine how rural youth “read” opportunities. This is double true for women, who often face additional constraint that hinder them from gaining the agency and thus the extent of productive engagement they need to prosper in the new economy. Many of the changes accompanying structural and rural transformations are unfolding at a faster pace or in different ways than in the past. These demographic, economic, environmental and technological changes are simultaneously opening up some opportunities for rural youth and closing off others. Investments, policies and programmes centred on rural youth need to take these differences into account. Two mistakes that could be made in rural youth investments are to invest in old solutions that are no longer effective and focussing solely on youth while the proble is broad-ranging lack of economic opportunity. In the end, to improve opportunities for rural youth policies and investments have to be integrated into national and local strategies, policies and programmes.